|Mortgage Debt Not Regulated by Consumer Credit Act 1974|
|National Trust Membership Rules Out Judge in Planning Dispute|
|Court Provides Resolution to Potential Problem|
|Careless Talk Costs Land|
|Reasonable Depends on Circumstances|
|The Perils of Incautious Auction Purchase|
|Non-Compliance With Court Order Leads to Fine|
|Inaccurate Sale Particulars Lead to Repayment Order|
|Squatters - What to Do Now|
|Council Not Liable for Tree Roots Subsidence|
|Accessing Your Own Land|
|Buying Abroad - Considerations|
|Current Laws on Electrical Work|
|Fact Sheet - Disclosure to Mortgage Lenders of Incentives for Buyers|
|Guide to Law on Squatting in Residential Premises|
|How Do We Set Up a Commonhold?|
|Leaseholders' Right to Manage|
|Mortgage Exit Administration Charges - Consumer Redress|
|Phone Masts - The Law and Practice|
|Planning Law Basics - New Developments|
|Selling Your Property at Auction|
|Tenants' Right to Buy|
|The Duties of Mortgage Lenders|
|Timeshares - Good or Bad?|
|What is a Tenant's Improvement?|
|When Can I Access My Neighbour's Land?|
|Who Can Go Where?|
With the appointment of an Ombudsman for Estate Agents (OEA), the laying down in statute of the duties of estate agents and the passing of the Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007 (CEARA), a property purchaser might reasonably conclude that their interests are strongly protected under the law. This view is likely to be bolstered by an awareness of the existence of the National Association of Estate Agents’ (NAEA) own disciplinary and redress scheme. However, the assumption that a buyer’s interests are well protected is not as well founded as you might think.
The estate agent’s main duty is to the vendor of the property, so the regulations under which they operate relate mainly to their relationship with the vendor. They are bound not to discriminate against purchasers who do not wish to buy other services they offer and to declare a personal interest to any buyer. It is important to note that even when the sales particulars of a property are inaccurate, the right of redress may be limited. Recently, the court ruled that an agent was not liable for providing false information to the effect that a property included a substantial area of land which was not in fact registered in the vendor’s name. The estate agent had simply accepted without enquiry that the area of land was part of the property and included it in the sale particulars. The court considered that any purchaser would have made sure that a proper search of the title was done and in any event the offer for sale was ‘subject to contract’ – placing the onus on the purchaser to make sure their enquiries were carried out carefully!
The Ombudsman service deals with claims against estate agents, but its powers are limited and the maximum award that can be made is £25,000. In practice, most awards are a small fraction of that amount. Members of the NAEA must belong to the OEA redress scheme.
In 2010, protection was given to buyers who buy 'off plan', with the launch of the Consumer Code for Home Builders.
We can assist in all property matters and disputes arising from property and other transactions.